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Common Courtesy: Picking Up Dog Poop

Petmate Academy

September 21, 2021

Part of dog ownership is picking up after your pup after he does his business – whether it's in your yard or it's in a public space. As unenjoyable as it can be, picking up and properly disposing of your dog's waste is not only responsible but often necessary.


There are many important reasons why it's so important to pick up after your dog.

1. It's common courtesy.

Imagine for a moment that no one picked up their dog's poop. Not only would people's yards and neighborhoods stink, but parks and other public areas would be overrun with dog waste. If you've ever accidentally stepped in a dog's poop, you know how unpleasant it smells and just how hard it can be to get rid of the stink. Additionally, allowing your dog to poop on someone else's lawn (and especially leaving it there) should be a big no-no.

2. It's often required by law.

Did you know that many parks and even neighborhoods require you to pick up your dog's poop? Many public parks and areas will have signs that explicitly tell you to pick up after your dog with trash cans available. Some even offer bags for you to use, but it's always a good idea to bring your own along just in case.

3. It is not fertilizer.

One misconception that some people have is that dog waste is the same as other animal waste. After all, nobody picks up after animals in the wild. Is there any difference? Surprisingly, there is. As much as we wish this were the case, dog poop is NOT fertilizer. It's toxic for grass, Because dogs have a high-protein diet, their waste is high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and is also very acidic. This won't only make your lawn stinky, but it can kill the grass if you're not regularly picking it up.

4. It is a pollutant.

Another reason why dog poop is different than other animal waste is that it is technically classified as an environmental pollutant, according to the EPA. Did you know that it can take up to a full year for dog poop to fully break down? Because it does not break down quickly or waste away on its own, it can easily spread germs and toxins. One way this happen is through rainwater. When the rain washes off dog poop, it can flow into drainage systems and get into lakes, streams, and possibly even drinking water. Many wastewater treatment centers aren't able to filter out many of the bacteria that are found in your pup's feces.

5. It contains germs.

Last but not least, dog poop is extremely unsanitary and can contain a lot of bacteria, some of which can lead to serious illnesses and diseases. A few examples of these bacteria are E. coli, tapeworms, roundworms, and salmonella, which can linger in the soil for years.


a man kneeling down on grass picking up his dogs poop with a dog waste bag


Not picking up dog poop can lead to serious problems. Not only is it common courtesy, but cleaning  up after your dog can prevent other people and animals from getting sick.

Picking up and disposing of your dog's waste will never become an enjoyable task, however, there are plenty of products available that make it easier and sanitary.

Most dog owners use plastic bags to pick up after their dog. Sometimes people simply use plastic shopping bags, but these are not ideal. If you're looking for something that's heavier-duty and designed specifically for dogs, shop our selection of dog waste bags, dispensers, and refills. Many of these bags feature odor control technology to get rid of any nasty scent. Many of them are also eco-friendly so that you can feel better about what you're using and know that it will not harm the environment. Be sure to also grab a dispenser that you can refill while  going for walks to make things a little easier!

a man using a dog poop scoop bin and rake to pick up dog poop from grass


Another option for cleaning up your dog's waste is using a dog poop scoop or rake. The downside to these is that many of them are large and not practical for taking along on walks or while traveling. However, they can be a great option for using around your yard, especially if you have a large dog who may, in turn, have large poops!


Remember that picking up after your dog has many benefits! It's good for you, your furry friend, your neighbors, and the environment! The next time you head out for a walk with your dog, be sure you're stocked up on everything you need so that you can properly clean up if your dog decides to use the restroom.




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